How to Start an LLC in New Hampshire | Mid 2023 Update

Starting a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in New Hampshire offers numerous advantages, from the Live Free or Die State’s business-friendly tax laws to its burgeoning economy. This article provides a detailed guide on forming an LLC in New Hampshire, outlining each step from choosing a name to ensuring compliance with state regulations. Once you’re done, you’ll know how to start an LLC in New Hampshire.

Whether you are looking to start this LLC to develop a family office the Familoff way, or if you are just looking to start a business, let this guide lead the way.

How to Start an LLC in New Hampshire: Step-by-Step Guide

Creating a New Hampshire LLC involves several essential steps to ensure compliance with state regulations. In this guide, you’ll find a detailed overview of the process for forming a New Hampshire LLC, including choosing a name, appointing a registered agent, filing the Articles of Organization, creating an operating agreement, obtaining an EIN, complying with tax and regulatory requirements, maintaining your LLC, and outsourcing LLC creation.

Choose a Name for Your New Hampshire LLC

Choosing a name for your LLC is a vital initial step. Your chosen name should be unique and distinguishable from existing businesses registered in New Hampshire. The name must contain the words “Limited Liability Company” or the abbreviation “LLC” or “L.L.C.”

You can check the availability of your proposed name by searching the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s business name database. If the name is available, you may reserve it for 120 days by filing a Name Reservation form and paying a $15 fee.

It’s also advisable to check if a matching domain name is available should you wish to build a website for your business.

Appoint a Registered Agent in New Hampshire

New Hampshire law requires every LLC to appoint a registered agent. This is a person or business entity authorized to receive legal documents and official mail on your company’s behalf. The registered agent must be a resident of New Hampshire or a corporation authorized to conduct business in the state and must have a physical street address.

File New Hampshire LLC Articles of Organization

The Certificate of Formation is the document that officially creates your LLC. You can file it with the New Hampshire Secretary of State either online or by mail. The Certificate of Formation includes:

  • The name and principal office address of your LLC
  • The name and address of your registered agent
  • The business purpose of your LLC
  • Whether your LLC will be manager-managed or member-managed
  • The names and addresses of the persons forming the LLC

The filing fee for the Certificate of Formation is $100.

Create an Operating Agreement for Your New Hampshire LLC

Although not a legal requirement in New Hampshire, it’s highly recommended to create an Operating Agreement. This internal document outlines the ownership and operating procedures of the LLC and helps to protect the LLC’s limited liability status. The agreement should specify the members’ percentage interests, rights and responsibilities, allocation of profits and losses, and procedures for handling the departure and addition of members.

Obtain an EIN for Your New Hampshire LLC

Your LLC will need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS, even if it doesn’t have employees. This is like a social security number for your business and is required for federal tax purposes, opening a business bank account, and hiring employees. You can apply for an EIN from the IRS free of charge.

Comply with New Hampshire LLC Tax and Regulatory Requirements

To run your business legally, comply with state and local tax requirements:

  • Business Profits Tax: New Hampshire imposes a business profits tax on businesses with gross income over a certain threshold.
  • Business Enterprise Tax: New Hampshire also levies a business enterprise tax on the enterprise value tax base, which includes compensation paid to owners and employees, interest paid, and dividends paid.
  • Sales and Use Tax: New Hampshire does not have a general sales and use tax, but there are selective sales taxes on meals, hotel rooms, and motor vehicle rentals.
  • Local Permits and Licenses: Depending on your location and the nature of your business, you may need additional local permits and licenses. Check with local county and city offices or a local Chamber of Commerce.

Maintain Your New Hampshire LLC

Keeping your LLC compliant requires ongoing effort:

  • Annual Report: All New Hampshire LLCs are required to file an annual report with the Secretary of State. The report is due by April 1 of each year, and there is a $100 filing fee.
  • Business Records: New Hampshire requires LLCs to maintain certain records, like copies of all filed documents, a list of current members and managers, a copy of your Operating Agreement, and financial records.
  • New Hampshire Employer Requirements: If your LLC has employees, you need to comply with employer requirements, which include withholding state income tax and paying unemployment insurance tax.
  • Insurance: Depending on the nature of your business, you may need insurance. General liability insurance can protect your LLC from lawsuits and unexpected liabilities. If you hire employees, workers’ compensation insurance is required.

Starting an LLC involves legal and financial complexities. Consulting an attorney or a certified public accountant can be invaluable in ensuring your business is compliant with state regulations and structured optimally for tax purposes.

Outsourcing New Hampshire LLC Creation

While forming a New Hampshire LLC on your own is doable, many entrepreneurs choose to outsource the process to professional services such as LegalZoom, Incfile, or ZenBusiness. These services can simplify the LLC formation process and save you time, allowing you to focus on growing your business.

Outsourcing LLC creation offers several benefits:

  • Expertise: Professional services are well-versed in state requirements and can help you avoid common pitfalls and errors.
  • Convenience: They will handle the paperwork, filings, and interactions with the state on your behalf, ensuring all necessary steps are completed.
  • Registered agent services: Many LLC formation services also offer registered agent services, providing you with a reliable and experienced registered agent for your LLC.
  • Ongoing support: Most services offer ongoing support and assistance with maintaining your LLC, including compliance reminders and annual report filing.

When choosing an LLC formation service, compare pricing, features, and customer reviews to find the best fit for your needs. Keep in mind that the cost of using a professional service will be in addition to the state filing fees.

Final Thoughts on How to Start an LLC in New Hampshire

Starting an LLC in New Hampshire is a multifaceted process that requires careful attention to state requirements. With the favorable business climate and tax benefits that New Hampshire offers, it’s an ideal place for entrepreneurs. Whether you’re a local entrepreneur or looking to expand into the Granite State, properly setting up your LLC is the cornerstone of a successful business. It’s always recommended to seek legal and financial counsel to make well-informed decisions for your enterprise.

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